Sylvia's Violins | Le Violette

“Le Violette”

From the Opera Pirro e Demetrio

Alessandro Scarlatti


The Chinese use the color violet to represent the harmony of the universe considering it a true color. Violet is the color of amethyst, lavender, and beautyberries. Ancient Greeks considered the violet plant a symbol of fertility. Pliny the Elder advised, “Placing caplets of violets on the head to disperse the after-effects of drinking and its headaches.” In Scarlatti’s Opera Pirro e Demetrio this delicate flower is the subject of the aria “Le Violette”



Pretty violets,

You are shameful

Half hidden

Among the leaves.

And scolding

My cravings

That are too ambitious.”